Evgeniya Levashova, a
freshman on the Pepperdine's women's tennis team, compares her previous
experience on the junior circuit to playing at Pepperdine. She also compares
life back in Russia to her life now:
Q: You played very well on the junior circuit. How was that experience for you playing against such good competitors?
A: It was really tough from the beginning. Playing in a lot of good tournaments meant playing a lot of girls who were just as skilled as I was. I had to work very hard and be ready to play in whatever conditions.
Q: How do you compare the girls you played against in the junior circuit to the ones now?
A: It's kind of a different level. When we play top teams it is similar to playing the top girls in the circuit.
Q: Do you prefer singles or doubles?
A: I do both but I prefer singles.
Q: What was your favorite experience in the junior circuit?
A: Just playing matches and of course winning. The Junior European Championship and Masters were great experiences and lots of fun.
Q: What made you choose playing collegiate tennis instead of professional? And what made you choose Pepperdine?
A: Basically, I realized that it is important to have a good education. By going to college I will be better off for life after tennis. As for Pepperdine, when I was young I really liked Los Angeles, it was always my dream to come here. So I really like the location and the coaches played a big part and what they have been able to do with this program.
Q: Have you ever had any big injuries and what did they teach you?
A: Yeah, I have. I had an ACL injury. I feel like it was good for me overall since I realized you have to be prepared for everything. Also before my injury I didn't want to go to college at all, I didn't think about the future, I just wanted to play and go pro. But my injury showed me that I need something to protect myself and that having an education will do that.
Q: How is it playing for Per and Lauren and how did you get in contact with them?
A: I really like them. I knew Lauren was great. As for Per a lot of my friends and coaches said he was a really great coach and person. I had originally got into contact with Mario who was an assistant coach then I met with him. But then I started really talking to Per and now Lauren came and I think they are awesome.
Q: How do they help you with your game?
A: Per is a really good coach. He not only focuses on the movements but the mental aspects. He makes sure we pay attention to the little things, which I think is very helpful. He's taught me what to do between points and after points and how to recover. I also see them helping me outside of tennis with life in general.
Q: How do you like the team overall?
A: I knew Luisa and Ashley before. I knew Luisa since we use played a lot of tournaments together so we knew each other. I heard about Ashley and how she was awesome. When I got here I was nervous meeting everyone but once I did it turned out they liked me and I liked them and we have become a big family. They are all always there for me whether it's about tennis or life. It's really awesome to have a team like this.
Q: How do you compare your life now to back in Russia?
A: The weather for starters is definitely different. Russia gets cold in the winter where here it just stays the same temperature. The culture and people are also different. But it's not a big difference otherwise. In Russia we play a lot more indoor since it gets cold, but in America they practice here whenever they want.
Q: How are you feeling as we get closer to the postseason?
A: I am really excited. I think we are all good players and we can win these tournaments as long as we all come together and fight to the end. It may not be easy but I think we can do it.